Sabor de HoLa, the Taste of Hello

About Town covers Hoboken events. Send an invitation to alanskontra@hotmail.com

Parents of the Hoboken Dual Language School (HoLa) held a lively first Sabor de HoLa fundraiser party Tuesday night at the Elks Lodge.raised a lot of money towards its goal of outfitting two more classrooms as it adds a grade next year.

For About Town's gringo readers, sabor loosely means taste or flavor. Somehow, the same word is also used to name the Croatian parliament. It's not quite warring over Kashmir or the Gaza Strip, but the Croats should play Spain in a soccer match for sole trademark rights.

And what does HoLa taste like? About Town spoke to a few satisfied parents. George Duke, a trustee who helped push for the HoLa charter two years ago, called the effort “a tremendous undertaking, but it's paying off.” Michael Kelly, whose sports medicine company sponsored the party, told us he has triplets enrolled in the school and called the bilingual learning there “an amazing experience.”

That taste theme extended into the wide variety of food offered at the party courtesy of several restaurants, including , , , the , the , , , , , , the , the , , Teak, the and .

At the bar, David Liebler of Eat Drink Hoboken donated 14 cases of wine. “That's how we roll,” Liebler said.

The 14 bottles plus other booze satisfied a big crowd of over 250 guests. We saw plenty of politicians, including Councilmembers Ravi Bhalla, Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti, plus school board members Carmelo Garcia and Peter Biancamano, Freeholder Anthony Romano, and Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, whose wife Norma Ramos is HoLa PTO vice president and helped plan the party.

We also saw notable HoLa parents and supporters, including HoLa trustee Frank “Pupie” Raia, Dana Harrison, vocalist for the family friendly rock band the Fuzzy Lemons, Zabrina Stoffel, Scott Delea, Peta Moran, and Joe Branco, who has raised money for HoLa by staging at his hotspot .

The party featured live music from a quartet called Grupo Irek, which means loosely love or prosperity. Irek had an acoustic guitarist, classical bass and bongo players and a maraca man who looked eerily like a young President Obama. All four dressed Havana style and looked very cool crooning "Guantanamera."

We spoke to some teachers, including 2nd grade instructor Priscilla Monico, who explained that HoLa's early age immersion in conversational Spanish will  facilitate students achieving grammatical fluency later. According to Monico, children who learn second languages early develop enhanced cognitive functioning.

“I had children that had no Spanish ability at the beginning of the year, who now understand everything I say,” she said. “They're learning quickly.”

A lot of HoLa teachers have exotic and interesting first names. Roll these off your tongue: Nohely...Thiana...Xochilt. Wonderful phonetics there. A long way too from the 80's when every Hispanic right fielder inexplicably had a Russian name like Ivan or Vladimir.

In addition to ticket sales, the school raised money through both silent and live auctions. Some of the silent auction items included student artwork and lunches with teachers, plus a signed Zach Parise hockey stick. With all these benefit parties every kid in Hoboken has Parise's stick. Is he signing them in bulk inside the penalty box?

Michael Kelly conducted the live auction towards the end of the night and did a tremendous job engaging the crowd, coherently explaining the items and stirring bids (auctioneering is a lot harder than it looks). About Town boasts we helped by suggesting Kelly close the Elks curtains to stifle sounds coming from all the chatty cathies slurping Liebler's vino at the bar.

The big live auction prize was a seven night stay in Cabo San Lucas. The bidding stalled at $1500 when Raia raised three fingers and bellowed, “three thousand!” The other bidders were disappointed, but they and everyone else gave Raia an ovation for contributing so much money. In all the excitement HoLa parent Anthony Oland kissed Pupie on the cheek.

After the auction, HoLa co-founder Jennifer Hindman Sargent thanked the crowd. The school opened the party hoping to boost the $28,000 it had already collected towards a $150,000 goal.

“This has really been a community effort,” she said.

Hindman-Sargent also thanked the Boys & Girls Club for housing HoLa. Construction on the new classrooms there is supposed to begin in two weeks.

To close the successful night, President Obama and his Secret Service band strummed songs - the sound of HoLa - and guests danced. We saw Harrison, Moran and Oland, among others, stepping, shaking their hips and smacking a flamenco clap.

 Alan Skontra was a big dork who never went anywhere. Then he started writing the About Town column for Patch, and now he's everywhere. Have a hot tip on an event in Hoboken? Send an invitation, questions and comments too, to alanskontra@hotmail.com. And if he gets enough followers he might actually post his first tweet @ twitter.com/alanskontra.

David A. Liebler May 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM
OK #Craven let's get a few things straight. A) Your a Liar. B) Your not a Hola parent C.) You use several fake names to spew your hatred. D.) You are most likely a little loser that sits at home trying to hurt others via blogging because you have no friends, no boyfriend or girlfriend and no social life. So listen SCUMBAG...MAN UP or Woman Up IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME AND TELL ME IN PERSON! Otherwise go back to your little lonely world and shut your pie hole.
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM
A. Wrong B. Wrong C. Wrong D. Wrong Temper tantrum David? I've shaken your hand and smiled to your face, I even gave you a few firm handshakes, this doesn't mean I like you or I agree with you. I'll express my thoughts here for now.
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Craven Scum it is you who is the phony lieing about being an Hola parent and hiding behind Fake names. Try and do something for the community instead of continueing to spew hatred over the blogs. Your obvious obsession with me is personal and most likely political. It is sad and you are a sad individual. If you are a parent, which is doubtful, I understand why you would post under a fake name, because you are a scumbag and you don't want your child (if there is one) to suffer from your idiot rants. Once you are exposed for who you are and I always find out eventually, I will have a conversation with you in private. In regard to your constand plug for me to run for office, although I apprecaite it..it is not in my plans. But if I did decide to run one day, no one would care that I ripped apart a scumbag hatred spewing blogger that blogs under fake names. hahahahah Thanks again to Alexandra, Sally and Joe as it was appreciated. Your fighting yourself Craven. Now stop blogging and go outside and play with you Fake child that you don't have. Maybe if you don't want to spend time with Fake child then you can go help Bhalla as I hear he could use alot of help right now!
friendly fire May 22, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Wow, how did Bhalla get thrown into this?
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 07:47 PM
David It is spelled lying, not lieing. Before you fire back please learn to spell properly. Oh yeah, you make lousy drinks, don't quit your day job
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 08:01 PM
CravenScum are you through for the day playing with your Fake Hola family! LOL Back to your hatred spewed blogging. If you were there you would know I poured Wine and Beer all night. But nice try, you missed a very nice event that was able to raise alot of money for a good cause. Instead of blogging under fake names try and get involved yourself. It is not to late you for you to make a difference in your community. Whether in Hoboken or NY :)
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Who said your lousy drink was at the event? You've poured drinks elsewhere, remember? I should be so easy to figure out
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 08:29 PM
CravenScum you are just that easy. Stupid actually and transparent. Your a lonely little person who needs to say they have a family and a Hola parent to make yourself feel better about yourself. Sad! I never bartended before that night at any establishment, period! You need a special license in Hoboken to serve drinks of which I do not have. For the Hola event they applied and received a special permit to have alcohal for the night of which EATDRINKHOBOKEN.COM donated the beer and coordinated all the liquor and bartenders for the event. Wine was donated and I poured the wine and beer because we needed an extra hand. Get your facts straight, you are a fraud.
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Your kitchen counts as an establishment David. Stop pretending you don't know who I am. You keep going on and on about how I am a fraud and you know who I am but don't want to admit it because you know how badly I can ruin you and make your life cave in. To everyone reading this, he is the sad one, lonely and confused and not very honest, but in due time when the timing is right it will all come out. Quote this post and thread in a few years.
friendly fire May 22, 2011 at 09:13 PM
I'm sorry, tell me again how Bhalla got thrown into this?
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Because David is a wimp and throws out names he think are somehow associated to the posts. He blatantly shows disregard for others and names names because "he assumes". None of this thread is political. And he knows it but his lack of proper judgement does not play here so he just fires off names. No wonder everyone hates him.
friendly fire May 22, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Cool, let's give David a chance to respond..... after all, it was his comment.
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Sounds good. He is probably downing a few shots as we speak. I can't wait to hear his answer either.
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 09:40 PM
CravenScum you are a fraud and no one is going to believe a fake blogger spewing hatred. I don't know who you are so why don't you tell everyone and stop being a scumbag. Telling me you are going to ruin me? Classic! Not concerned or scared. Your a political hack and a lonely loser, admit it. Friendly....Bhalla got thrown into this due to CravenScum being another political hack using multiple names to harm people.....so I recommended that he/she volunteer as I heard he could use some help, instead of blogging about his/her fake Hola family! Your a sad person Craven......why not explain the reason for the screen name while your not spending time with the fake family.......
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 09:44 PM
CravenScum it is always politically motivated so stop the lying already.
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 09:44 PM
"Bhalla got thrown into this due to CravenScum being another political hack using multiple names to harm people.....so I recommended that he/she volunteer as I heard he could use some help, instead of blogging about his/her fake Hola family! " wow, David is a very sick person. WOW. Patch needs to suspend David before AOL gets sued.
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 09:58 PM
CravenScum, this was one of your greatest hits "you know who I am but don't want to admit it because you know how badly I can ruin you and make your life cave in." Whatever is in your warped little lonely head let it go and go back on your meds. Your loosing your mind. I knew from your first idiot post that you were not for real. Then saying you were an Hola parent only made you look stupid. You gave yourself up several times over and will never win this battle. So go back to the fake family that you have in your mind and make them or just you dinner. Gotta run...don't forget to take the meds.
friendly fire May 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Alright, David, saying it is always political is not saying much for your "charitable" donations. Perhaps you want to clarify? You don't mean that you're trying to leverage your offerings to Hola, for some political gains??!! Or do you? I love Hoboken politics, but this thread is about Hola, not politics. Perhaps some further clarification.....
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM
" Your loosing your mind. " Wrong use of your and "loosing"? That's a new one. Your in the wrong context. Nobody is trying to win a battle. I have an opinion of you and you need to have the last word, you have to win, you have to be the best. Then you throw Bhalla in which makes no sense. I know you drink a lot David and I know one day you will seek the help of others but you got to stop drinking and typing out here, it's obvious you are drunk right now, nothing you say makes sense. David while I dislike you, I love everyone and really urge you to seek the BIG BOOK and AA and get better. Good luck old buddy
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 10:15 PM
CravenScum you are truly sad. Sorry for you. Say hello to the fake family.
David A. Liebler May 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Friendly Fire I will clarify. When I blog, it is very typical for some off the wall nuts political blogger to attempt to trash me and anything I do or say. It has nothing to do with the charities or Hola so drop that thought. This town is divided and it will be this way for some time. It is a shame that one can't blog without being attacked. This had nothing to do with Hola or my EDH post. This was a personal attack by a lonely crazy. I'm used to it .....
Craven Moorehead May 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM
David is very confused. I am not a blogger. I joined the other day and found this story by chance. I do not blog as he says. I gave my opinion that David likes to advertise wherever he can and instead of taking the criticism here he is a few days longer trying to show how he has to be right and how I am a liar and not a parent? Not everyone that is a parent likes David, in fact I can name about 20 that hate him but for their respect and privacy I won;t place their names here. David said he is used to being attacked, if true then why have to respond to everything, I, a new commentor has to say? David has fantasies in his head and if you read all his replies and leverage them against his so called message we will all realize what a drunken dope he is. But it's his foot he is chewing off, not mine. I love how David in other threads plays the role of bossman and tells people to no t comment anymore and to go to hell and eat his sh*t. Delusional man. My opinion and he will reply to this as always because in his opinion i must be wrong and lying and he must be right and holy
friendly fire May 22, 2011 at 11:53 PM
My thought is that David, you introduced "Bhalla" into the conversation. While you are fulfilling your own prophecy that "it's always politically motivated", a gentle reminder will point out that if you don't want to go there, don't steer it there. That would benefit all who care enough to read these blogs.
Enough May 23, 2011 at 01:07 AM
This is now the most commented story on Patch. One would think it is because parents from the Hola School and other people who support children are saying how great the event was. But NOOO, in today's Hoboken this has become the place to bash a guy who not only donated to the event, but volunteered all night. Unbelievable. In most places, when people get together to support a good cause, politics is left behind. Not in Hoboken with this crew. Sad. David, ignore the haters. Alexandra Black, I hope you are able to recruit volunteers and donors for future events. I would not count on the haters here to help out, and hope David helps you again after this experience.
friendly fire May 23, 2011 at 01:14 AM
That too.
ThisMeansWar May 23, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Not the same old same old. It's just 2 guys. It sounds like they know each other, though one sees it and the other doesn't. And it isn't reform vs non-reform. Bhalla was haphazardly dragged into it, but it isn't about politics.
Craven Moorehead May 23, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Oh we know each other, he just plays dumb
Grafix Avenger May 23, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Where'd everybody go? I just got my bucket of hot buttered popcorn.
friendly fire May 23, 2011 at 04:24 PM
No doubt girl, I was hoping Craven's buddy, Phil McCrakin, was going to join the discourse. No such luck. I'm going back to reading about Ohaus while lisening to thriller!!
Craven Moorehead May 23, 2011 at 05:04 PM
I'm here, someone else went to hooked on phonics class to learn to spell properly


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